There is no better professor on whether Jesus is to be found in the pages of the Old Testament than the teaching of our teacher and Rabbi, the Lord Jesus himself.
Jesus the one who said in John 5:39, “You diligently study the Scriptures. These are the Scriptures that testify about me.” That is clear enough and should settle the question, right? Actually, there is more evidence showing Jesus in the Old Testament.
One well-known story was when Jesus walked with two disciples on the Emmaus Road. Jesus rebuked Cleopas, and that other unnamed disciple, as they walked along the road to Emmaus on that first Easter Sunday, “How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Did not Christ have to suffer these things and then enter his glory? And beginning with Moses and all the prophets, [Jesus] explained to them what was said in all the [Old Testament] Scriptures concerning himself” (Luke 24:25-27).
Back in 1000 BC, King David predicted the resurrection of Jesus as he, too, saw what was ahead, namely, that Jesus would not be “abandoned … to the grave, nor would he let his Holy One see decay” (Ps 16:8-11; Acts 2:30- 31). So, it is not surprising that we, too, should find Jesus present in the events, symbols, types, titles and the predictions found in the Old Testament.
It is only right that we should find that Jesus was both actually present in the Old Testament and accurately predicted, and that he would come first as our Savior, and then in a later second coming, would appear as the King supreme over all the earth. Such an unusual state of affairs is possible because he was, he is and he is the One to come.
Sadly, all too many miss both his real presence in the Old Testament narrative and the numerous predictions of both his first and second advents or comings. In reality, Jesus was even before the Old Testament. The Bible even testifies that Jesus is the creator of the universe and he is the one that sustains it.
“Everything was created by him, everything in heaven and on earth, everything seen and unseen, including all forces and powers, and all rulers and authorities. All things were created by God’s Son, and everything was made for him. God’s Son was before all else, and by him everything is held together (Colossians 1:16-19).
Jesus also testified his existence even before Abraham (John 8:58). All of the scriptures point to Jesus, whether the Old Testament or the New Testament.
The relationship between the Old and New Testaments is one of strong continuity and a progressive revelation. But a study of both books reveal the very clear centrality and focus on the person and work of our Lord Jesus Christ.